Outside, Skyscraper, Riding, 1 and 1A

During the day on Friday Cindy moved the  baby chicks to their new home in the yard in our chicken tractor.  The move went well and the six chicks seemed to be enjoying their new expanded accommodations.  When evening came we expected them to traverse the ramp up to the coop area, just like all of the other chickens in the past have done.  Well it didn’t happen.

For whatever reason these chicks were unsure of what to do.  When Cindy and I went out there when it was almost dark all six of them were still down in the run, chirping away in what sounded like “wtf are we supposed to do now” in chicken-speak.  We tried to coax them up the ramp multiple times unsuccessfully.  Well they had to get up in the coop one way or another.

Well “another” was a two person operation with Cindy on her knees reaching into the lower portion of the tractor and grabbing a bird one at a time, and handing them to me as I put them up top through the side door.  So with some struggle we got them up top but then we had another issue.  Instead of using the rather generous amount of perch space all the chicks wanted to pile on top of each other in one of the nesting boxes.  I felt bad for them as I could tell they were scared and/or confused.  Most of the time they were in the garage there was a light source courtesy of the heat lamps.  They just didn’t know what to do.

Cindy was worried about a chick being trapped under all the others.  I wasn’t real worried about that as all of the chicks are pretty energetic and spastic, able to wiggle away if need be.  I didn’t want chicks on the bottom to become toilets for the ones above.  So Cindy and I tried rearranging them a few times but the best we could do was get three in each box.  However when we checked on them in the morning some of the birds had actually gotten up on the perch during the night.

On Saturday and Sunday we had the additional complication of colder temperatures, again something the chicks had not experienced.  We threw a couple old comforters that we used before over the coop to block any cold air from blowing directly into their enclosed sleeping quarters.  They seem to deal with the temps in the 50’s just fine but as of this entry they still have not grasped the concept of going up to top at night by themselves.  Cindy and I are working on additional measures to facilitate that. We already have tweaked out the chicken tractor somewhat, running an extension cord to it so we can run a web cam inside of it.  We also had a night light in there that the chicks destroyed last night.

My Saturday was quite busy as I did a full yard maintenance routine which had not been done in well over a month.  Even with the long layoff some areas of the yard had hardly grown at all.  Still I spent over three hours getting it all done.  Saturday was Katie’s birthday, for the first time in my memory Cindy actually didn’t see Katie on her birthday but she did make Katie a pretty amazing ladbybug fondant cake.  Cindy is really getting into custom cake creation.

Part of my Saturday afternoon involved trying to FIX a 3D printing mess.  Evidently something happened with an overnight print that resulted in a bad situation.  I woke up to the hot end encased in what looked like a plastic tumor.  I at first tried to melt away the mess using a heat gun but actually caused additional problems along the way.  Luckily I had a replacement hot end which I got installed but I now had to order a new hot end fan.  I damaged the original by inadvertently super heating it with our heat gun.  What a mess….

On Saturday night we watched our Netflix rental, SkyScraper, featuring the Rock.  So as always Dwayne exhibited super hero like abilities throughout the film despite being a mere mortal.  This may have been the most outrageous example however since his character in the film lost a leg, forcing him to perform God-like moves while on a prosthetic leg.  It was a good action packed B level Rock movie.  He has become this generations Arnold and Stallone, throw him into any scenario and let him flex and fight his way out of trouble.

Sunday morning we did a belated birthday ride with Katie.  We weren’t quite sure who would ride what so I had a BUNCH of PEVs in the truck, a total of five.  We rode at the Greenway and then for something different we crossed Golden Gate Parkway and rode at Freedom Park as well.  At the end of the ride we got told that a section of the boardwalk we rode on was “pedestrian only” by a park employee.  He was nice enough about it but I did mention to him that it was weird right across the road there was no such restriction.  He agreed it was odd but the rules are the rules, indeed….

After the ride we went for a birthday weekend lunch at some Cuban place nearby.  Cindy’s mom met up with us there as well.  My food was good but the service was terribly slow for me, despite the place only being a third full if that.  Overall the experience did not make me anxious to revisit the restaurant.

Afterward Katie returned with us to the house where she got to see and enjoy the fruits of Cindy’s cake preparation labor.  She was very impressed and we all enjoyed a slice after singing happy birthday.  She hung around for awhile talking to Cindy as I worked on producing the video footage from the ride.

 

So the Eagles played at 4:30.  Just has been the case for most games the last month, I hoped the Eagles would win but I realistically did not expect it to happen.  The fact that the insertion of Nick Foles even resulted in us getting to the playoffs was a win for me with as poorly as the team played this year.  For them to go into Chicago playing a Bears team with the leagues number one rated defense and expect them to win just wasn’t something that was probable at all.  Of course once again Saint Nick Foles made it happen with a little help from one of the most unique and nerve wracking finishes in Eagles history.

The game was very tight throughout with minimal scoring.  The Eagles could not run the ball to save their lives so they had to mostly rely on Nick passing the ball.  He had his struggles as well, throwing two interceptions, including one in the Bears endzone which was pretty crushing.  In the second half the Eagles were making the type of mistakes that typically cost you games.  Along with Foles interception they had some really dumb penalties that extended Bear drives for scores, and some very sloppy secondary play by the Birds, especially by Avonte Maddox.  I lost count of how many times he got burned for long gains in the second half but it was ridiculous.  He kept biting on the receivers first head fake, resulting in being left in the dust as they blew by him.  One play an Eagles defender had a Bears pass hit him right in the hands for what should have been an easy interception which he instead dropped, resulting in Chicago getting more points on the board on the drive.

So despite the setbacks the Eagles had the ball first and goal with less than two minutes to go, trailing by 5 points.  On first and second down they sent tiny 5’6″ Darren Sproles in to the middle of the pile for no gain.  They did this the entire game, sending Sproles into the teeth of the Bears front line and getting nowhere.  I just did not understand why they didn’t try to go wide with him more often where he could use his speed and elusiveness to make people miss. So on third down they missed a pass to the right, bringing up fourth down.

So with the Eagles season on the line Nick Foles looked calm and composed, as always.   He drops back and delivers a perfect strike to Golden Tate in the endzone, putting the Eagles ahead by one.  The Eagles made a two point attempt to stretch the lead to three which would force the bears to get a TD to win.  The dive by the RB was called short by the officials but the instant replay seemed to indicate the nose of the ball clearly crossed the line before it was knocked away.  The announcers and ex-official in the booth all said it should have counted.  For some inexplicable reason even with instant replay they did not reverse the call.  The game was filled with a lot of mysterious officiating including the fumble that wasn’t when the officials called an incomplete pass and picked up the ball without an Eagle touching it first.

So the end result was the Eagles clinging to a one point lead with roughly a minute remaining.  The ensuing kick off was exactly what you didn’t want.  For some reason Jake Elliot was unable to kick it into the endzone as he normally does.  Instead it was short allowing the return guy to have a full head of steam as he snagged the kick.  He ripped off a huge return bringing the ball almost to midfield, only 20-25 yards from pretty safe FG range.  The only thing working for the Eagles was the Bears only had one time out remaining.  Even so the defense allowed Chicago to get the yardage needed rather easily, with less than 10 seconds to go the Bears lined up for what should be a pretty automatic 43 yard field goal attempt to win the game.

At this point I thought the outcome was all but decided and was already justifying the result in my mind, at least the Eagles put up a hell of a fight but lost in the end courtesy of the subpar secondary play that has haunted them all year.  Just before the ball was snapped Doug Pederson pulled the normal stunt of icing the kicker by calling timeout.  The timeout came just before the snap so the kick attempt actually happened which resulted in a strong kick right through the uprights, which didn’t count.  Seeing Parkey drill that kick lessened my hope of him missing on attempt two, despite his clearly lack luster performance this year.

So they line up to do it again.  I tell Cindy that she needed to somehow cast bad luck onto the Bears.  She grabbed the lucky chicken hat she wore last year at the end of the Super Bowl.  However instead of wearing it on her head, she held out her right foot, Parkey’s kicking foot, and put the hat on there.  As the second kick went up and started drifting left I started to believe, when it hit the left upright but bounced towards the middle I thought that it might have still bounced through.  When I saw the officials signalling no good I was in utter disbelief.

The difference between winning and losing was an inch or two.  Before last year I was accustomed to the Eagles coming out on the wrong side of those situations.  Last night luck was on their side, something that was also the case for a good portion of the year.  For a solid 5 minutes I just sat there, amazed at the finish of the game and the end result of the Eagles advancing in the playoffs.  Every unlikely win that Nick Foles engineers is a step closer to the end of the Carson Wentz era in Philly in my opinion. Sure Eagles fans appreciate potential and solid stats which Carson definitely has.  But there is nothing we value more than performing under pressure and of course winning. NO Eagles QB in my lifetime has delivered in the clutch like Nick has.  If this streak continues, I just don’t see how the team can let Nick go.

Next up is New Orleans who absolutely destroyed and embarrassed the Eagles during the regular season, putting more than 50 points on the board.  If this team once again manages to grind out a win, on the road, against the NFC’s number one seeded playoff team, the sky is truly the limit.  I never thought I would say this after the way two thirds of this year went down but the Eagles right now are a very dangerous team.  Despite winning it all last year, they are now firmly back in the underdog role, something that sparked magic last year.  I am just enjoying the ride, this is all a bonus to a season that I thought was over in November. If the Super Bowl win was number one in biggest and most compelling wins in Eagles history I may place last night as 1A, it was that exciting and nerve wracking.

After the trilling finish I had a live stream scheduled which of course kicked off with me relishing in the victory.  The nearly two hour stream went well which I again did solo.  In some ways I prefer that format as it has less technological hurdles and I am able to focus on audience interaction which seems to be well received.

 

 

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